Weekend readings - 15th Jan, 2021 : Edition 24
A compilation of few interesting, multi-disciplinary reading links from the internet
Section 1 - Investing & Personal Finance
(a) Morgan Housel in his latest book - The Psychology of money states the importance of luck amid uncertain outcomes.
He quotes Netflix Documentary - “Inside Bill's Brain” and says - “Gates went to a high school in the US that was among the only few schools in the country to have computers. This does not mean Bill Gates is not smart and hard-working, but the fact remains that luck did play its parts. One needs to take broader lessons from those who achieved and not do exactly what they did. Success in a different environment defines a good investor”
On the other hand, this article defines why people continue to buy lottery tickets even though the chance of winning is low and overestimates the role of luck.
(b) Anand Sridharan Of Nalanda Capital took the internet by storm in 2020 when he started writing on Investing. In this yet another well written piece, he brings out the importance of how long term is not simply a series of short terms. He also touched upon the concept of how complex systems are not reductionist.
Everything so far sounds extreme, starting with ‘hold forever’. Nothing is forever and hold period is only known in hindsight. Pre-conditions seem unreasonable for most in light of fickle flows, NAV pressure and incentives that punish short-term relative underperformance.
Section 2 - Economic Trends & Themes
(a) The idea of Development finance institutions (DFIs) to fund infra activity is again being floated as we approach India’s Budget on 1st Feb. An excellent conversation with Vinayak Chatterjee of Feedback Infra with Ira Dugal of Bloomberg quint gives glimpses on this development. I will be keeping a close watch on this.
Section 3 - Personality study & Development
(a) Earlier this week, India (abused & bruised) came back to draw the Sydney test match against Australia. Praises flew from everywhere. This article - Of Boys, and Burning decks fully encapsulates the beauty of the sport. I have been reading Prem Panicker for over 20 years now and he never ceases to surprise me. Just like life and investing, lessons of “hanging in there when the going gets tough” is well encapsulated.
(b) Came across this interesting story earlier in the year from the hinterlands:
More than 40 years ago, a humble farmer named Jadav Payeng started to plant trees on a desolate river island. Known as “The Forest Man of India,” he planted tens of thousands of trees — bamboo, cottonwood and other varieties. What was once a barren sandbar blossomed into a 1,300-acre forest teeming with birds, monkeys, elephants and even tigers.
As he told NPR, it was his way of honoring nature. His small act of appreciation, planting seeds every day, grew to something beyond anything he could imagine. This post - What you appreciate, appreciate explains how this pursuit is applicable in life to investing journey and our relationships.
(c) We have all heard about the famous “comeback stories” - JK Rowling, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison etc but 4 researchers in this article argue they didn’t tell the whole story. Why did these individuals ultimately succeed, when so many others never manage to get past their failing phase?
Section 4 - Business History & management
(a) One of the key themes of our investment strategy in post-Covid world is to be invested in the healthcare sector - Pharma - both generic and API, Life Insurance, Medical devices, digital apps and Hospitals (30-40% of client portfolios are invested or advised to be in this theme).
This story of Tezpur mental hospital which has stood for over 40 years through epidemics, partitions and wars is a fascinating read. It is also a silent reminder of the ebb and flow of political and social change, how the marginalized fare is the only real measure of whether the changes are worthwhile or not.
(b) The subscription model is booming. So many apps, so many free trials, so many payments to be made. Now even the super apps are coming which will combine various OTT platforms! But a turnaround business story of NY times how it went from a failing newspaper to thriving digital subscription business is fascinating. A long read, well-illustrated by graphs and figures to give you the actual feel. Their projected APRU numbers are discussed loud on social media by stock short sellers but that’s a different story for another day.
Section 5 - Reading & Entertainment
(a) Have you watched Narcos on Netflix? If not, read this. This is an inspiring story of a woman bringing justice to crime in Mexico. Now this is one story which deserves a web-series or a documentary of its own!
(b) In a week when the latest James Bond franchise movie is again postponed to Sept-21 due to pandemic, here is a great piece on India’s first spy movie - Farz starring Jeetendra. This will bring nostalgia to a lot of fans of the 1960s Hindi films.
Adroit PMS Jan’21 Newsletter - What should investors do post historic highs?
My Investing journey with CLIQTAX
That's it for me. Have a great weekend!
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